The five federal agencies have issued a new compliance note that highlights the necessity that those who move cargo—vessel owners, charterers, exporters, managers, brokers, shipping companies, freight forwarders, commodities traders, and financial institutions— ensure they are not being exploited by nefarious actors disguising the true origin, destination, or nature of their cargo. The note offers enforcement trends and guidance on compliance with potential indicators of efforts to evade sanctions and export controls.

Potential Indicators:

  1. Manipulating location or identification data
  2. Falsifying cargo and vessel documents
  3. Ship-to-ship transfers
  4. Voyage irregularities and use of abnormal shipping routes
  5. Frequent registration changes
  6. Complex ownership or management

Compliance Guidance:

  1. Institutionalizing sanctions and export control compliance programs
  2. Establish location monitoring best practices and contractual requirements
  3. Know your customer
  4. Exercise supply chain due diligence
  5. Industry information sharing

Enforcement Trends:

  1. Criminal prosecutions
  2. Civil forfeiture actions
  3. Civil enforcement actions

“Those who move cargo play a key role in helping to prevent sensitive goods and technologies from falling into the hands of proliferators, terrorists, and other malign actors,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod.

Entities involved in moving cargo should review their compliance policies and procedures to ensure they meet the 8 key BIS compliance elements. If you need assistance or have questions, reach out to Mohawk Global Trade Advisors.

By Clarissa Chiclana

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